Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
WEST BRANCH – The recruiting process for an athlete is all about selecting a school.
Before Beau Cornwell could get serious about deciding where he would continue his college career he had to settle on what sport to play at the next level.
It wasn’t until Cornwell admitted he couldn’t chose between basketball and football that he found his future home.
Cornwell made his plans official on National Signing day Wednesday signing a letter of intent to play both basketball and football at Monmouth College in a ceremony a West Branch High School.
“I couldn’t give up one, I love both sports and that was definitely the main thing that I loved about Monmouth,” Cornwell said. “I’d go to bigger schools and they would tell me I had to play one sport or it would be impossible to play two. Going to a smaller school I knew I would be able to have that opportunity and I just rolled with it.”
There is a valid reason picking a sport was a difficult decision for Cornwell who stared in both football and basketball at West Branch during his prep career.
A three-year starter at quarterback, Cornwell rewrote the passing record books at West Branch.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound signal caller threw for 4,317 yards in his career and did his best work as a senior leading the Bears to a 9-2 record and spot in the Class 1A quarterfinals.
Cornwell drew interest from Division I programs after passing for 2,152 yards and 25 touchdowns as a senior while completing 67 percent of his passes.
“After this football season it was a really good year so all the football stuff bumped up more than I thought it would but basketball went really well too,” Cornwell said. “I just knew I couldn’t give up one of those sports.”
Cornwell was just as impressive on the basketball court.
He led Class 2A in scoring as a junior with 23.3 points per game on his way to all-state honors and became the all-time leading scorer in West Branch history last week with more than 1,630 points.
Cornwell is averaging 19.8 points, eight rebounds and 3.4 assists per game this season while leading West Branch to a 14-3 record.
While playing two sports at the collegiate level is challenging Cornwell didn’t want to give up on either of the sports he loves.
“I know there is going to be adversity playing two sports and trying to manage my time,” Cornwell said. “It excites me because I want to do everything for as long as can because before I know it, I’ll be done.”
Monmouth is a member of the Midwest Conference that includes Cornell College and Grinnell College in Iowa.
The Scots were 8-2 in football last season and are currently 10-12 in basketball this season.
“Finding a relationship with the coaches was important and at Monmouth that was by far the best relationship that I formed,” Cornwell said. “Both the coaching staffs work together well so playing both sports isn’t going to be an issue.”
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